Country Apple Bacon Baked Chicken Breast

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Cooler temperatures earlier this week kicked my appetite for fall comfort food into full gear. I have started day dreaming about pot roasts and slow cooking. Since there isn’t enough time for slow cooking in the middle of our busy apple season, I pulled out this family favorite, Country Apple Bacon Baked Chicken Breasts. This is one of those recipes that has our home smelling just like fall days when grandma lived here. There is just something about the smell of cooked apples, bacon and onions swirling around the kitchen that takes me back to childhood days of Sunday dinners.

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This recipe calls for tart apples so I used Golden Delicious. I also used apple sauce I had made from Golden Delicious apples but we sell jarred Eckert’s Applesauce if you need a short cut.  Be sure to cut the apples and onions as directed below to allow them to cook to the desired doneness. Everything else is pretty straight forward except the taste. You just won’t believe how good this dish is, until you try it! For me, it is the perfect chicken dish to celebrate flavors of the fall harvest.

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Come on out and take a walk in one of our four apple orchards this year! The apples are plentiful and delicious!!

Eat well this fall,

Angie

Country Apple Bacon Baked Chicken Breasts
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup Eckert’s Apple Cider
About 1 Tbs. olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Salt and ground black pepper
1 Tbs. stone-ground mustard
½ cup Eckert’s Applesauce
5 slices uncooked bacon, halved crosswise
2 unpeeled tart apples (about ½ pound); cut each apple into 10 even wedges
1 sweet onion, peeled, cut into 12 even wedges
¼ to ½ tsp. of each: dried thyme, sage, rosemary (crushed)
¼ tsp. celery seed
Sprinkle or pinch of ground cinnamon

In a small bowl, at room temperature soak cranberries in apple cider about 2 hours or until soft.

Preheat oven to 425-degrees. Coat bottom of an 11x8 baking dish with olive oil. Place chicken breasts in a single layer in the baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk mustard and applesauce together. Mix in thyme, sage and rosemary, celery seed and cinnamon. Spoon over chicken breasts. Lay half-slices of bacon on top of chicken breasts.

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Arrange apples and onions around the chicken, but not on top. Drain cranberries reserving apple cider. Sprinkle cranberries over top of the dish.  Add any remaining apple cider to the dish.

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Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until bacon is crisp about 10 to 15 minutes. (An instant read food thermometer inserted into the center of the chicken breasts should read 160-degrees.)

Allow to rest about 5 minutes (chicken temperature will increase to 165-degrees).

To serve: Remove bacon and set aside. Slice each breast into diagonal ½-inch thick pieces. Place on dinner plate. Place slices of bacon over top of each cut chicken breast. Evenly divide the apples, onions and cranberries on dinner plates. Drizzle juices over chicken breast.

Makes 4 servings.